The “final over” of the day.
Ball One – Fast bowling is never an easy way to make a living and tougher on the sub-continent than anywhere else. It’s tougher still if you waste wicket-taking deliveries by over-stepping the crease. Twice in this match, Ishant Sharma has been denied wickets by no balls with the Australian captain and vice-captain the men reprieved. Getting some part of the foot behind the line isn’t difficult; getting wickets is.
Ball Two – Is Michael Clarke quite right? He sits in the middle of a brittle middle -order and was “out” twice in ten minutes today. Neither dismissal was good – the uppish clip to mid-wicket is something England have worked on and Clarke obliged (but it was a no ball); the flinching, hands-high, head turned reaction to a steepling short ball was something new and will not go unnoticed by Stuart Broad and Steven Finn.
Ball Three – The umpires have got a lot right in this match, but seem to be getting hung up on one of their easier jobs – calling no balls. No part of umpiring is straightforward, but you either see some boot behind the line or you don’t and call no ball. There is no judgement involved, but pressure can do strange things to umpires as much as it does to players.
Ball Four – Simon Katich (currently36 from 111 balls) is batting the result out of the game. That has to be right given the time still left and the narrowness of the Australian lead – to say nothing of Marcus North as next man in. The Trumpet is no fan of playing for the draw, but there are times when you have to sit in the game and make sure you don’t lose it before you have the chance to try to win it.
Ball Five – Pragyan Ojha waited more than 60 overs for his first wicket. He bowled well and in other matches would have had five victims. Patience is a wonderful virtue for a spinner, but penetration is even better!
Ball Six – Mike Hussey is becoming Australia’s Paul Collingwood. He’s given excellent service but is showing signs of fatigue as he approaches the end of his career. Like Colly, Hussey seldom looks really in these days and is finding lots of ways to get out, including a very poor decision today.
The Tooting Trumpet, whom you can often find at Testmatchsofa.com and on Twitter at @garynaylor999 and @Fakeadil.